Drama Recaps
Flower Boy Next Door: Episode 1
by | January 7, 2013 | 144 Comments

Adorable. The next installment of tvN’s Oh Boy series is here with Flower Boy Next Door, and I’m happy to report it’s as zippy and fun as advertised. It’s closest to Flower Boy Ramyun Shop in tone—a wacky comedy with heightened situations and quirky characters.

But more importantly, our Miss Lonelyhearts at the center of it all has depth and heart, and I can’t wait to find out how all these guys will start to disrupt her little bubble, and shake her out of her comfort zone.

SONG OF THE DAY

“외톨이야 (I’m a Loner)” – CN Blue [ Download ]

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EPISODE 1: “I Steal Peeks at Him Every Day”

We open on details inside our heroine’s apartment. She raises plants. She’s a copywriter. She keeps stacks of takeout coffee cups and rows and rows of water bottles. And her alarm rings in the morning with the message: “His wake-up time.”

She pops up, not in bed, but in the middle of her living room floor, snuggled in a sleeping bag, with warm bottles of water used for heat to keep her expenses down. This is our heroine, GO DOK-MI (Park Shin-hye).

After she gets up, she carefully sticks her hand outside her front door—just a hand—to reach for her carton of milk. It comes with a post-it attached: “A lovely day!” with a drawing of a boy and girl. She adds it to a stack.

She opens up her curtains, which gives her a clear view straight across the alley and into her neighbor’s apartment in a building that’s taller and fancier than hers. She follows along with everything he does, from morning exercise to breakfast to laundry, as if they’re doing them together.

She waves goodbye as he leaves for work, and she puts down her binoculars with a wistful sigh.

Elsewhere, someone has a very different morning, making a giant mess that spills over into the seat next to his on a plane. A flight attendant scowls at the mess… until ENRIQUE GEUM (Yoon Shi-yoon) looks up at her and smiles. She’s a goner.

He gets up and makes his way to the back of the plane, slaying more women with his smile, until he reaches a little boy who’s been crying and screaming. He sticks a moving-through-space screensaver up with his tablet, and presents a paper robot. That’s what you were doing? So. Cute.

I love the running bit with him—he’s so handsome he literally puts smiles on people’s faces everywhere he goes. It’s hilarious.

The man at customs isn’t so easily impressed, assuming he doesn’t understand Korean because of his foreign passport. But Enrique busts out his perfect Korean, blathering on about how his father never let him speak Spanish at home, and how he was once tested as a genius at the age of nine.

And then he takes a look at his assistant’s nametag (it says gyo-yook-saeng = trainee) and calls out cheerily, “Bye Yook-saeng noona!” LOL. So, not so much a genius.

He gets a celebrity’s welcome out of the gate, with reporters scrambling to ask him if he’s been scouted to work elsewhere and if he plans to leave Sola Studio. He doesn’t say.

His attention shifts at the arrival of YOON SEO-YOUNG (Kim Yoon-hye). They smile at each other. Ah, this must be what he meant when he told the customs officer his reason for coming here was cupid’s arrow.

We shift to another introduction—two well-dressed guys turn heads as they music-video-strut their way down the street. This is OH JIN-RAK (Kim Ji-hoon) and YOO DONG-HOON (Go Kyung-pyo), and they enjoy the attention.

Turns out they got all dressed up to hear the verdict on their latest webtoon, Zombie Soccer. The editor tells them it wasn’t picked up, because it plagiarized a video game.

The boys argue that a game and a webtoon are totally different things, and besides, how would they get permission from some Spanish game developer? She points out that said game-maker—Enrique Geum, naturally—just landed in Seoul minutes ago.

They get the brush-off from the editor, and Dong-hoon whines that they can’t throw away all their work like this. Shouldn’t they show her the latest drawings? He flips through Jin-rak’s sketches, and stops at one that doesn’t belong in the zombie soccer lot—a girl.

That sparks an idea, and Jin-rak shows the editor. The story he pitches: a girl, trapped in her apartment and the guys who surround her. The editor deadpans, “And she’s a zombie and he’s a vampire? So overdone.” Ha.

He quickly says this story will be nothing like that. It’ll be a realistic melo, all about the everyday life of this one girl, and all her neighbors… and it’ll be called “Flower Boy Next Door.” Ah, I see, it’ll be a webtoon-within-a-drama. She lights up.

Back to Enrique, who asks if Seo-young really feels nothing even though they haven’t seen each other in a year. She steals his lollipop and says he hasn’t changed one bit—he’s still the cocky and self-absorbed guy from before. She doesn’t say it meanly, but like an old friend.

He does notice that she’s freezing and zips her up in one of his jackets, and then pauses when he’s within kissing distance. He starts to lean in…

…and chomps down on the lollipop in her hand. You big tease.

Dok-mi gets a call from one of her freelance copy-editing jobs, and insists that the drop-off be at the post office rather than her home, and can’t bring herself to ask for payment, even though it’s backed up, and she clearly needs the money.

The neighbors from her building are being organized downstairs in a small protest to get some payment out of the new officetel that was built so tall it ruined their view, and the security guard calls out Dok-mi as “Apartment 402″ over the PA system to say that she’ll start being fined if she doesn’t attend the building meetings.

It’s news to Dong-hoon that a young lady lives next door, since he’s been crashing at Jin-rak’s place for a while and he’s never seen her. He takes one look at the apartment fees and complains that she gets charged less for heating and such, because she lives alone.

While that’s going on down in the street, Dok-mi checks on her neighbor across the way, or his dog, really. She’s surprised to see that he stopped by home in the middle of the day. She watches through her binoculars as he answers a hurried phone call and leaves a boiling kettle teetering on the edge of his dining table… right over his sleeping dog. Eeep.

Dok-mi watches in a fright as the kettle teeters and falls, and she lets out a yelp. In a panic, she runs downstairs. She almost catches up to him as he pulls out of the driveway, but Dong-hoon stops her to introduce himself and ask about her heating bill.

Jin-rak notes her presence with curiosity, and the security guard thinks she’s finally heeding his warning to join in the building’s meetings.

But Dok-mi is only focused on the dog, and so she grabs a taxi to follow her mystery man. She sticks her head out the window to get his attention, and finally catches up to him on foot…

But once she’s actually within touching distance, she can’t bring herself to tap him on the shoulder.

She stops there in the street, unable to make contact. She finally screws up her nerve to shout, “Your dog is hurt!” but suddenly another man steps right in her path, startling her. Lee Jong-hyuk? What are you doing here?

Elsewhere, Enrique asks Seo-young if she didn’t miss him, and says, “I missed you. Every single day.” She slaps him upside the head and says she missed him too, but they obviously mean it in two very different ways.

He says he’s planning to play cupid, but has to be careful because cupid’s arrow has a way of making things complicated. “So I’m going to ask. Your love… is it Han Tae-joon?”

And back in the street, a group of guys picks up Dok-mi’s mystery man, calling him Tae-joon. Aha.

Dok-mi is frozen in place, and it turns out Lee Jong-hyuk is a random fortuneteller type, trying to fish for customers in the street. But the funnier thing is that she’s crazier than he is, and starts to unload her problems.

She says it was autumn the last time she was out in the world. She looks up at the sun, which takes her to a flashback, to the moment she first saw Tae-joon in a park on a fall day. She followed him and watched as he picked up a puppy in a box and took him home.

She says in voiceover that she found out what love at first sight meant, and felt as though she had loved a short while and parted with him. She wanted everything to remind her of that fall day, and we watch as she comes home with those yellow binoculars on a whim.

She plays around with them in her apartment, and lands on the window across the way, and in walks Tae-joon with his new puppy. Her jaw drops. She says she thought of it as fate.

Of course it’s only after telling the whole story that it dawns on her she forgot about the dog, and she runs off.

Back to Enrique, who asks it again: “Your love… is Han Tae-joon, right?” Seo-young doesn’t answer, but it’s written all over her face. He laughs it off and says the seriousness doesn’t suit her.

She says she’s sorry, but he doesn’t blame her in the least, and offers to make her his special spaghetti, at Tae-joon’s place. Oh, is he your bestie too? That’s not awkward.

Dok-mi makes her way back, and Jin-rak is surprised to see her run into the building across the way. And he and Dong-hoon are even more shocked when Enrique Geum gets out of a taxi and heads into the same building.

Dok-mi sits at Tae-joon’s door, calling out to the dog and sick with worry. She baby-talks and asks if he’s very hurt, and of course it’s the exact moment that Enrique shows up behind her, “Ajumma, what’re you doing?”

Shocked, she crawls away on her hands and knees in horror.

Jin-rak stalls the elevator, and Dok-mi comes up but stops short when she sees other people inside. Dong-hoon invites her to get in, but she won’t. The doors close and Jin-rak says she can’t anyway—”it’s not in her personality.”

Dong-hoon tries to figure out which apartment Enrique moved into, and Jin-rak pulls him away from the window before he gets himself arrested for peeping.

Enrique settles into Tae-joon’s apartment and peers out at Dok-mi’s building, gaping at how old it is, and that he could probably shout across the way and be heard.

Dok-mi is shocked to see a stranger standing in Tae-joon’s apartment, “Who are you?”

Enrique can sense someone looking at him, and peers back at Dok-mi’s window. She hides, and then peers back, and they go back and forth, trying to see the other person.

Enrique finally turns away… and then whips around to try and catch her, so she ducks down like a crazy person.

Later, she goes down to throw out the trash, and stops to organize the recyclables properly. Jin-rak watches, keeping his distance.

She starts to narrate about unrequited love, as we see her type away at her desk. Aw, is she a writer?

Dok-mi: How timid and frail is unrequited love? A place you entered of your own accord, but you’re trapped inside, unable to find an exit. He doesn’t know a thing, and could one day leave my line of sight, and the love ends passively. A love that does not bloom flowers, and thus cannot dream of bearing fruit. A love like a seed that is forgotten. That is unrequited love.

Tae-joon comes home at the crack of dawn, and smiles to see Enrique passed out on his couch. He goes to tuck him in, when Enrique shouts at him and jumps up with a hug, “Hyuuuuuuung!” Wait, what?

Oh my god, are they brothers? Dude. Tae-joon calls him by his nickname, Kkae-geum, and Enrique starts immediately whining for hyung to buy a bigger tv.

Okay, they can’t be brother-brothers, because they have different last names, but they’re not friends (whereas Jin-rak and Dong-hoon’s hyung-dongsaeng relationship is clearly of the friend variety). Maybe they’re cousins?

Enrique adorably aegyos him into all sorts of changes, but Tae-joon holds his ground and says no. Immediate pouting. Yeah they’re family for sure, right?

Dok-mi wakes up in the morning and goes to the window while brushing her teeth… and is greeted by a strange sight. A guy gets craned up to her window holding a box, and he smiles brightly at the sight of her, freaking her out.

It’s her new neighbor, who’s moving in down the hall.

At the same time, Dong-hoon sees a note wedged into Jin-rak’s door, and it’s from “Apartment 402.”

Dok-mi peers over at Tae-joon with her binoculars and smiles in relief to see that his dog is perfectly fine. When he goes into the bedroom she scans her way back to the living room… where Enrique is glaring Right. At. Her.

What… are you wearing? That’s beside the point though, as he looks her straight in the binoculars, and motions with his fingers, I’m watching you. Hee. Also, oh crap.

She freaks out and closes the blinds in terror. Enrique won’t leave it at that, and runs out in nothing but shorts and a trench coat (Who looks crazy now?) muttering the whole way over that he knew he felt someone watching him last night.

At the same time, the new neighbor starts packing a basket of pastries and practicing his greeting to introduce himself. He heads out…

Jin-rak reads the note and opens his door…

And Enrique storms out of the elevator, counting the doors, until he lands on 402…

He rings the doorbell, and Dok-mi peeks out the peephole and freezes.

 
COMMENTS

Oh dear, so much confrontation for the girl who can’t handle confrontation. The first episode was a lot of introductions, but I think it did a good job of throwing us into a world that feels lived in. We don’t dwell on things and not everything comes with a glaring neon sign, which is nice. But there are key context clues about what kind of person Dok-mi is (a stickler for the rules, a penny-pincher by necessity, a dreamer, a writer, and someone who’s terrified of making a connection), the ways Enrique’s relationships have shifted while he was away, and how Jin-rak might have been watching Dok-mi from afar for a very long time.

I like that Go Dok-mi (whose name means literally “lonely beauty”) actually does feel her loneliness and dream of a love that doesn’t leave her feeling so empty or trapped inside herself. Even if her habits are strange, she’s immediately relatable because she seems self-aware, and she struggles against her nature to assert herself to her boss or take a step outside her apartment.

Enrique is her total opposite, of course, and seems highly sensitive to what other people are about, even though he couches everything in jokes or cute antics. Already he’s a riot, and I’m really glad to have a hero who isn’t some dark broody cloud, because we have enough of those in dramaland. It’s nice to have a bright bubbly hero for once. And how great is it that she’s built her entire safety net around being invisible, and he insists on seeing her?

All in all a great first outing—the characters pop, the humor is there, and the conflicts have lots of potential. It feels zippy because we move in and out of characters’ lives without lots and lots of forced exposition, and we’re left to puzzle things together like how Tae-joon fits into everyone’s lives, or how much Jin-rak knows about Dok-mi. I’m laughing out loud and wanting more, which makes me a happy camper.

 
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144 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. 51 lovin it

    AH LOVE IT.
    woah kim ji hoon’s wistful looks.. SWOON.
    he didnt have this kind of effect on me in previous dramas…

  2. 52 moon

    love love Park shin hye

    i like this drama and Shinhye acting is very good and very natural

    She have natural beautiful and talent at acting
    wow all actor is good too

    thank GF

    hope ep2 for tomorrow

  3. 53 Hanachio

    I liked the 1st! Funny and fresh!

  4. 54 Lemon

    Thanks girlfriday for the recap!

    Yoon Si Yoon as Enrique (I will never be not amused at that name) is HILARIOUS.

  5. 55 Kiki

    Enrique? His name is Enrique? There have been several drama characters with English names, but this is the first one I can think of with a Spanish name.

  6. 56 Jane

    I am guessing that Enrique’s nickname, Kkae, is really Quique. That is what we call people whose name is Enrique. I would love to hear some Spanish. They already “try” with English and French in other dramas. Why not cutely kill Spanish? Jajaja, and I am not complaining or really criticizing the use of other languages or the pronunciation. I love it when they do it. I always laugh.

  7. 57 pogo

    I can’t find subs anywhere, and wiki is not accessible for me :(

    I CANNOT WAIT, NOOOOOOOOOO!!

  8. 58 tika

    KIM JI HOONNNNNN

  9. 59 pogo

    I caved and watched the first 5 minutes or so raw (wasn’t that hard, since there’s hardly any dialogue) and AAAAAAAAGH why is Park Shin-hye so adorable, and making me so sad for her at the same time?!

  10. 60 Laurita

    I was defeated – I watched both eps straight without subs (and without understanding).

    Drama watching felt like … peeping into other (drama) lives too. We are not so different from our heroine, in a way.

  11. 61 jycmdrn

    Tae joon and Enrique are cousins. Thank you for the recap! :)

  12. 62 addylovesbwood

    I’m not a fan of the lead guy but I’m soooooooooooooo excited to see this!!!! Park Shi Hye!!! <3

  13. 63 watashiwachiaki

    thanks for this recap ^^

    Im a lurker XD I often read recaps here in dramabeans since I cant remember when. But Im the type who watches a kdrama only after it is finished or when all the subs have been released, so I dont really leave messages on your recaps. hehe!

    It’s my first time watching an on going drama. so your recap helped me a lot to enjoy this show because I cant understand korean ^^

  14. 64 ailee

    omg i got so confused with the recap.

    i thought Kim Ji Hoon was supposed to play the guy who PSH stalks?

    had to read the first again and again. so PSH is actually stalking another guy and KJH is just her secret admirer?

    aww i was looking forward to my initial expectation.

    oh well..

    thanks girlfriday :D still loved the recap :D fighting!

  15. 65 kate kim

    where can i watch it with eng sub??? im dying here

    • 65.1 boholAnna

      dramacrazy.net

    • 65.2 msr0466

      dramafever has this with english sub!!!

  16. 66 Lisa-Loo-Loo

    It is possible to be in-love with a drama? Cause I totally am! This drama is cute, funny, quirky. It’s like a cross between Salary-man and Ramyun shop. I love, love, LOVE Enrique (I especially love that his name is Enrique, I smile just thinking about it). Soooo excited! BRING ON the ZANY!

  17. 67 boholAnna

    Loving Park Shin Hye and the way she’s playing her character. I wasn’t sure about this drama but the first episode seemed pretty solid and has me hooked already.

    I’m a bit afraid I’ll suffer the dreaded 2nd lead love disease. I’m already feeling and rooting for Jin Rak.

  18. 68 mskololia

    The Enrique character is a hoot. It seems that he likes being “in the spotlight”, but that may not be the case at all….I’m glad he saw her peeping. That’s what she gets!

    KJH<3

  19. 69 bimbobunny

    What a breath of fresh air. Will definitely be watching this ASAP. Thanks for the recap lovely ^^

  20. 70 pillowhead

    weeeheheheee! so many cuties! the only thing for me so far, is that out of all the neigboors, enrique’s the least cute to me. I hope he grows on me.
    My very favorite scene was jin-rak’s and dong hong’s badass strut followed by the puppy faces as they get dogged by their boss. lol ohhh so good.

  21. 71 Sajen

    so she’s a hikkikomori, sorry don’t know the korean word and even if I did I’d still use hikkikomori because it’s a word I’m fond of, who does go outside?

    that scene where she’s looking out her window and sees the guy on the crane reminded me of this weird dream I had. I was in an apartment arguing with somebody when
    I get the exact same look on my face as Park Shin Hye in that scene, and Jack Black is floating in mid air outside my window

    • 71.1 Gom

      I just Wikipedia-ed “hikikomori” and man, that’s some interesting piece of information. I never knew something like that exists, unless of course if it’s clinical depression. But this isn’t so that’s really strange. And there 3.6 million people in Japan who live like this! Wow.

  22. 72 k-soup

    thanks for recapping this girlfriday! I totally forgot that it premiered last Monday.. (0h paper works!)

    She’s a unique character to start with. Introvert-writer-girl… gosh, I like her so far.. this is a strong start for this drama :)

  23. 73 k-soup

    “she’s immediately relatable because she seems self-aware, and she struggles against her nature to assert herself to her boss or take a step outside her apartment.”

    I agree, I can really relate. I don’t and afraid to go out of my house. I can actually empathize with her. The feeling that the people are staring at you which I know doesn’t really happen but the thought of it is unbearable.

    Afraid to make connections because you feel awkward about yourself. I know your woes Dok Mi!

  24. 74 sweetspring

    this drama is fluff… but the BEST kind of fluff out there!!! Super rare to have anything capture my interest so in just the 1st episode but FBND has and I am hook, line and sinker in. For me, Yoon Shi Yoon was cute in high kick but here he just oozes cuteness to the supreme and I’m even finding Park Shin Hye pretty adorable when normally her I’m-a-cutie-pattotie act is rather grating.
    anyone wondering if they should watch this, 2 words- watch this.

  25. 75 Peridot

    I really enjoyed this first episode. I like the attention to detail. The apartments of the tenants, for example, are each unique and seem to be truly inhabited. I think that I am already getting second-lead syndrome, although the male lead is adorable. I can’t wait to see how the story progresses. Hopefully the plot has been carefully thought-out and planned.

  26. 76 giggle

    Thank youuuu..
    OMG..
    I start to fall in love with this drama.
    The stories, the characters.
    Every actors really nailed their roles.
    I love Shinhye as beauty aloner. Shiyoon as a very comical happy guy.
    Want more and more of it. >,<b

  27. 77 Liana

    This was so good! Not quite with the same wackiness of FB Ramyun Shop, which I am so glad about, and without the broody undertones of Shut-Up FB Band, which doesn’t suit it anywho. I’m really enjoying the zaniness of the characters and PSH’s cuteness factor helps up Go Dokmi’s relatability factor. Not that I’d need it. Go Dokmi is me. I am Go Dokmi. Well, she’s what I WISH I could do…

  28. 78 Kimie

    HAHAHAH! I swear to god this drama is going to drive me crazy for wanting more. Everything about this drama is amazing. There were no boring bits, everything zapped by so fast I was dying with laughter in the end HAHAHA awesome start to the year k-drama land!! HAHAHA

  29. 79 Lilian

    Haha…loving Yoon Shi Yoon here. The last pic says it all! Cannot wait to watch the next episode…

  30. 80 LizJ

    Anyone know if this is available anywhere on an iOS app or Roku channel (because sometimes these sites get website licenses and not player or mobile licenses)? I’ve been looking and haven’t found it yet.

  31. 81 pogo

    Also, side note: it’s nice o see Kim Yoon-hye looking less deathly skinny here than she was in Heartstrings, she’s so pretty with a little fullness in her face.

  32. 82 owl

    So cuate, FBs! “Trainee” – might could just name a little girt (or a pet, at least) that – if you roll the “r” it kind of sounds French.

  33. 83 iloveleehyunwoo

    Where can I watch this drama? Anyone know a website?

  34. 84 iloveleehyunwoo

    Where can I watch this? Anyone know a website?

    • 84.1 Betsy Hp

      Dramafever. Also dramacrazy.

  35. 85 Betsy Hp

    So cute! Loved the opening scenes and love the characters (especially Dok-mi) and love the entire set up.

    I really appreciated that the show showed they’re aware of the creepiness of peeping. That scene where Dok-mi watches a newscast about a guy putting cctv in his girlfriend’s apartment, clucks in disapproval… then swivels around to peep into her neighbor’s place: hilarious! But also shows… I’ll call it her innocence. She’s not seeing herself as hurting the guy next door.

    Thanks for the recap, girlfriday! :)

  36. 86 Viki

    I watched it just now! It’s great!

    I totally lol’ed when Dok Mi was caught by Enrique. totally hilarious!

  37. 87 jademwong

    RECAPS! WOOHOO :D!

    Just watched one ep so far and I am really excited for this drama! The Perfect light rom-com that I’ve been looking for. I’m such a fan of the cast too, hehe, really looking forward to this drama!

  38. 88 nanako

    Not very promising. Something is lacking in this episode and it just reminds me of the fiasco of Mary Stay Out all Night. I’m seriously hoping that it’s not going that way as I really like the Flower Boy series esp Ramyun. Yoon Shi-yoon seems to be a little trying too hard to be cute. He was pretty good in Baking King and Me Too Flower.

  39. 89 rochinipark

    Loved the 1st episode,and the best thing its on TVN meaning its only 45mins or so long.So zippy and you wont feel the pace get draggy.

    But i still ponder Kim Jihoon looks too old to the a Flower Boy.but man is Handsome,i’ll give him tat.

    Haha anyways looks like a keeper.

  40. 90 Jess

    They weren’t kidding about the “flower boys”. This drama–so far, so good. <3

  41. 91 Ennayra

    I finally got to watch this with subs! Found it on youtube :-). I really like it.

  42. 92 Rong

    Love the show… Funny!

  43. 93 K

    I’m just now starting this drama, and I’m really looking forward to getting caught up! I love Tae-Joon and Enrique is so funny! I’m a little confused as to who Jin-Rak and Dong-Hoon are, tho.

  44. 94 Angel

    As much as i love the drama, reading this made me happy that you looked into detail when you wrote it. One problem though, the righting is a bit rocky. I can’t explain it but if you summarize it, I believe that you should smooth it out

  45. 95 pat

    What application is the alarm clock she is using ?

  46. 96 Shelby

    I would also like to know the alarm clock application she is using. Does anyone know?

  47. 97 cici fandisha

    waw ameizing

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